Resources for Flood Cleanup and Indoor Air Quality
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Flood water can make the air in your home unhealthy. This is because when things remain wet for more than two days, they usually get moldy. Inhaling mold can cause adverse health effects, including allergic reactions. Mold also can damage materials in your home. In addition, flood water may contain microorganisms, such as bacteria, or chemicals which may affect your health.
On this page:
- General Resources for Flood Cleanup and IAQ
- Technical Resources for Flood Cleanup and IAQ
- Additional Information on Floods and Hurricanes
On other pages:
General Resources for Flood Cleanup and IAQ
For basic information on how to clean up after a flood and how to prevent indoor air problems:
For information on ordering the following publications, visit EPA's National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP).
Flooded Homes Cleanup Guidance
EPA’s Flooded Homes Cleanup Guidance provides a complete guide to cleaning up a home after a flood, including a series of brief how-to videos, infographics, and more.
Indoor Air Quality
This fact sheet contains basic information on flood cleanup with illustrations and links to more detailed information.
Homeowner's and Renter's Guide to Mold Cleanup after Disasters
This document was developed by EPA, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), the and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It summarizes basic procedures for mold remediation after flooding and other disasters.
- Wear personal protective equipment. Wear an N-95 respirator at a minimum, goggles, and protective gloves.
- Use portable generators carefully, outside and away from the home, to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning and fires.
- Ensure the mold cleanup is complete before reoccupying your home.
Flood Cleanup and the Air in Your Home: Booklet
This easy-to-read booklet tells you how to clean up after a flood and how to prevent indoor air problems with helpful illustrations.
Note: This 28-page booklet prints in landscape as a 15 page printout. Please set your printer to landscape before printing.
The booklet is available in three languages:
Flood Cleanup Infographic
This downloadable and printable PDF resource provides information on how to clean up after a flood and how to prevent indoor air problems with helpful illustrations.
The infographic is available as a:
It is also available in several languages as a color version and grayscale version.
Resources for Flood Cleanup and IAQ
Report on Flood-Related Cleaning
This document addresses strategies for safely returning flooded buildings to habitable conditions after a hurricane or other weather event. It is a technical summary of existing research and guidance on health hazards from floods, flood damage, and cleanup activities. EPA’s Indoor Environments Division commissioned the report; however, it does not necessarily represent EPA policy.
-Damaged Homes: Approaches to Effective Decontamination, Cleaning and Drying" Presented by Dr. Gene Cole
This is a recording of the April 18, 2019, technical assistance webinar Flood-Damaged Homes: Approaches to Effective Decontamination, Cleaning and Drying featuring Dr. Gene Cole and hosted by EPA’s Indoor Environments Division. In this webinar, Dr. Cole discussed safe and effective methods for remediating and restoring flood-damaged homes, with special emphasis on antimicrobial use, best practices for cleaning and drying, mold testing, and what to look for if you need professional assistance.
Flood Cleanup Webinar Presented by Dr. Gene Cole
This is a recording of the July 16, 2018, technical assistance webinar “Flood Cleanup” featuring Dr. Gene Cole and hosted by EPA’s Indoor Environments Division. Dr. Cole addressed many flood-related issues, including: specific remediation requirements for various types of water damage; use of biocides and personal protective equipment; best methods to reduce health and safety risks; and how to determine when remediation is complete.
Mold: Worker and Employer Guide to Hazards and Recommended Controls
This document was developed by EPA, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Occupational and Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The document summarizes basic procedures for mold remediation after flooding and other disasters with an emphasis on worker protection.
The guide is available in two languages: